Documenting the seasons of coastal Dorset. I'm a complete amateur so don't trust I'm always right. If ever you see I'm wrong - whether with identifications or in anything else - do say!

Friday, 13 January 2012

THE BERRIES MATURE

It's possible, I suppose, a moment may come when I loose my interest in ivy. For the moment, though, it runs un-diminished. Their earlier golds have mostly vanished. Instead, there are blues and greens and browns on show. It's very hard to move on.

Sometimes, I adjust pictures a little - cut out glare from shiny leaves, take a few shadows away to reveal detail. This time, so you can tell how wonderful the variety is, so you know it hasn't been introduced by editing, the pictures for this post are exactly as they came out of the camera (except for cropping off some of the edges so you can see the berries centre stage).

Can't wait to hear what you think!


There are olive greens.


And chestnut browns.


And blueberry blues.


Some are hanging low where the new Alexanders grow.


And some hang on to memories of autumn fireworks.


There are masses and masses of them.


Beautiful.


19 comments:

Mark Willis said...

Those are possibly the most "luxuriant" ivy berries I have ever seen. I bet the Blackbirds will enjoy them.

Gardens at Waters East said...

Lucy, I have never seen Ivy Berries. Tell me more about them. They are really beautiful. I have a number of Engalman Ivy that have a red to blue berry but nothing as sculptural as your ivy berries. Your photos ( I especially like the first one) are great. You do well with photography. Jack

Lucy said...

Hello Mark. It's only here that I've seen ivy like this. Until I lived here, I'd been completely unaware of ivy flowers and berries - which is possibly why I'm as struck by them as I am. Mostly, I've only seen ivy in shady places (and it only flowers in the sun) or growing up trees and walls (where it is often unwelcome and restrained or cut down). Because I am standing on an old railway embankment to take these photos, I am often level with the tops of trees - and the ivy has grown up them. I am at sky level, eye to eye with mature ivy - a privilege!

Hello Jack. As I mentioned in a previous post

http://looseandleafy.blogspot.com/2011/12/exploding-ivy.html

I find ivy difficult to understand. Its flowers are not like flowers I am used to and I find them very puzzling. You'll see what I mean if you go to the link above. I've tried to read about them and have got lost. I think the only way I'll learn is to go to a Botanic garden one day and find someone who can explain in person.

Donna@Gardens Eye View said...

Lucy these are just gorgeous...I am fascinated with them having never seen them before

elaine rickett said...

It is so easy to overlook the everyday things until someone like you brings it to our attention. Shame they aren't edible for humans.

Rowan said...

Lots of ivy berries here too, there's been a hard frost overnight so the birds may be glad of them if it stays cold.

Lucy said...

Hello Donna. I'm glad you left that comment. It reminds me that not everyone is familiar with the plants I show here so I should put basic information like height and spread and size of fruit. It has never struck me to do this before. This is especially important when taking photographs close up. Things can look very much bigger in a picture than they are in real life. These clusters of berries are about an inch and a half across. Some a little bigger, some, with fewer berries, smaller.

Hello Elaine. Until I read Mark's comment, I hadn't even known blackbirds like them. Indeed, only yesterday morning I'd been discussing this very question with someone - do birds eat ivy berries?. We'd decided to keep a look out to see.

Hello Rowan. I've only noticed one frost so far and that wasn't very deep or long lasting. These ivy bushes (if one can call them that . . . bundles of ivy?) are very close to the sea and so lush they give each other shelter - along with the birds in them - though, when the wind turns round and comes from the east instead of the prevailing west - it can be bitter and strong. I;m glad I'm not a bird!

easygardener said...

I agree that we rarely see Ivy in all its glory. When I first saw the berries I had was surprised to find they were attached to Ivy.
I don't have room to grow it in the garden but I am toying with getting a more controlable Fatshedera (cross between Fatsia and Hedera). It has similar flowers to Ivy but I need to investigate if it flowers reliably otherwise it won't be any benefit to wildlife - which is the point of the exercise.
Apparently thrushes and blackbirds eat the berries.

Toffeeapple said...

I hope you don't move on from Ivy for some time Lucy, I enjoy your photos of it. You might like to read the following - http://cabinetofcuriosities-greenfingers.blogspot.com/2009/05/plant-for-all-seasons.html This is just one of 5 posts about Ivy.
Phil Gates is a Botanist at Durham University, he know a lot about a great many things.

Anonymous said...

Great blog. Lovely pics.

Lucy said...

Thank you . . . Anonymous!

Toffeeapple. Thank you so much for telling me about The Cabinet of Curiosities. It's a wonderful blog.

Phil said...

Hi Lucy, your ivy berries are a lot closer to ripening than the ones around here ... but we've got many more than usual this year too .... must have been the good pollination conditions during that long mild autumn...

hurtlingtowards60 said...

We clearly share the same ivy, but as you were standing on a railway embankment do I take it you are lucky enough for it not be growing in your garden - you are the lucky one then. I love what you have done with the photos.

ps The blackbirds love the berries and nesting in the ivy.

Lucy said...

Hello Phil. A few of the berries round here are really quite black to the eye but the camera picks up other tones so I've left them out here - just including ones where the colour in the picture matches the colour in real life. Even so, the photo of the chestnutty ones doesn't do justice to the polished look they have.

Hello Ronnie. There are never photos of my garden on this blog. Indeed, there are no photographs of anyone's garden. It's all hedgerow, woodland or along the seashore. This may be why I have never noticed the smell of the flowers - in your garden it may get caught and linger whereas in this more open space it gets wafted away. (On the other hand, in the summer, the scent of honeysuckle lingers so maybe it's a (fortunate?) deficiency in my nose!

Country Mouse Studio said...

I've never seen anything like it here. It's an amazing plant of so many colors.

Lucy said...

Hello Country Mouse. I'm so glad you like the ivy. It can be overwhelming. It can climb a tree and cover it. Cover a wall and pull it down - so it isn't always popular. The result is that we often miss out here (I reckon) on looking at it properly. It's just boring old ivy. But it isn't! It takes new eyes (like yours) to appreciate it neutrally. For those of us who have grown up with it as a common nuisance, a camera lens can transform how we think of it.

squirrelbasket said...

I can't believe I've missed all those subtle colours! I usually just dismiss ivy berries as "black" - I'll look again :)

Mark and Gaz said...

Hi Lucy, love the colours but the purple hued ones looks almost edible. Hederas are great, reliable plants. I keep a few as potted specimens.

flowers said...

This is why I love plants, so much beauty in their uniqueness, thanks for sharing